261.21 Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy

  1. Purpose
    Salish Kootenai College is committed to providing a safe working and learning environment for its employees and students as well as promoting the health and well-being of college employees. This policy provides guidance regarding drug and alcohol testing for employees.
    Salish Kootenai College shall participate in the effort to eliminate illegal drugs by establishing a comprehensive drug-free workplace program which is humane, responsible, and effective. The program shall be conducted without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, or disability.
  2. Employees Subject to this Policy
    1. All candidates for employment. 
    2. The following employees are classified as having “safety sensitive/testing designated positions” and are subject to drug and alcohol testing. “Safety Sensitive/Testing Designated Positions” are defined as positions for which testing is required by federal regulations, or the position is such that the individual has responsibility for the safety of minors or holds a position that would be particularly dangerous if performed under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Employees are advised of positions that are designated as safety sensitive/testing designated in the job advertisement, upon hire, and in the job description. Employees who move into safety sensitive/testing designated positions will receive notification in the new job description.
    3. Employees whose job duties require a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
    4. Employees whose job duties include supervision, care, or transportation for children, defined as minors less than 18 years of age.
    5. SKC Security Staff, SKC Maintenance Staff, and SKC Transportation Staff.
  3. Types of Testing
    1. New Employee Testing
      All candidates for employment must submit to and pass a pre-hire drug test before the offer of employment and hiring process are completed. 
    2. Random Testing
      Employees in safety-sensitive/testing designated positions are subject to random testing during on-duty time. 
    3. Reasonable Suspicion.
      Employee drug and/or alcohol testing will occur whenever the College has a reasonable suspicion that an employee is under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or controlled substances while on the job. Reasonable suspicion testing may be requested by a supervisor, Vice President, or the President, based on specific, documentable, contemporaneous observation including but not limited to:  job performance, appearance, behavior, speech, statements, possession, body odors, etc. If an employee’s supervisor or a Vice President has reason to suspect that an employee is under the influence of alcohol or an illicit drug while performing official college business, the employee will be asked to submit to a drug screen. The supervisor or Vice President will document the physical or behavioral observed signs leading to reasonable suspicion.  
      When an incident occurs which leads the observer to believe that drugs or alcohol may be involved the suspected employee’s supervisor and Human Resources must immediately be notified to review the circumstances and facts related to the incident in order to ascertain the merits of the observation and to specify further action.
      If testing is required, the supervisor is responsible for arranging for the employee to be safely transported to and from the testing laboratory.
      Human Resources will create a written record of the observations leading to a drug and/or alcohol test by interviewing those people who observed the incident. The written record must be completed within 24 hours of the observed behavior and subsequently submitted to Human Resources.
      The College reserves the right to determine whether reasonable suspicion exists.
      If an employee is asked to submit to an alcohol and/or drug screen and refuses, the test is considered to be positive. 
    4. Post-Accident Controlled Substance and Alcohol Testing
      Following an accident involving college vehicles, the College will test each surviving employee as soon as possible for any controlled substances or alcohol if any of the following conditions are present:
      1. a citation was given to anyone involved;
      2. the accident results in injury requiring treatment away from the site of the accident;
      3. a vehicle was damaged in the accident; or
      4. the accident involved the loss of human life.
  4. Drug and Alcohol Testing Protocols
    Testing will occur according to Procedure 261.21. 
    1. In accordance with 42. U.S. Code 290-ee-3, all medical and rehabilitation records in an Employee Assistance Program are considered confidential patient records and may not be disclosed without the prior written consent of the patient. This includes records created when an employee formally enters and participates in a program for drug and alcohol abuse problems.
      To the maximum extent possible, the employee’s personal dignity and privacy will be respected.
      Drug and alcohol test results may not be disclosed without prior written consent of the employee, unless the disclosure would be:
      1. To the Safety Officer, the Employee Assistance Program Coordinator, or Counselor.
      2. To a supervisory official within SKC having authority to take a personnel action that is adverse to the employee, including suspension or termination.
      3. Pursuant to the order of a court or competent jurisdiction where required by the judge to defend against any challenge against an adverse personnel action.
  5. Considerations for Employees with Positive Tests
    1. Employees that are taking a prescribed medication that is indicated by a drug screen will be asked to provide a doctor’s prescription. 
    2. Employees with positive drug tests are subject to disciplinary action. 
    3. If employees are subject to random testing and refuse testing, the test is considered positive. 
    4. If employees are asked to take a test because of reasonable suspicion and refuse the test, the test is considered positive.
    5. SKC shall offer assistance through the Employee Assistance Program Counselor to employees who use illegal drugs.
  6. Rehabilitation
    1. The College attempts to provide employees the opportunity to deal appropriately with drug and alcohol related problems. Any employee who voluntarily requests assistance in dealing with a drug and/or alcohol problem is encouraged to seek professional counseling for an assessment with an accredited alcohol and drug professional and, if appropriate, to enter a treatment program. Generally, employees who self-refer to such programs before work performance problems or accidents arise will not be disciplined.  
  7. Disciplinary Action
    1. Any employee who refuses to consent to drug and/or alcohol testing, tampers with a sample, tests positive, or otherwise violates this policy may be placed on leave with or without pay, at the President’s discretion, until an appropriate disciplinary action is determined.
    2. An employee who has tested positive for drug or alcohol use and who is subject to disciplinary action short of termination may be suspended from work without pay until the employee tests negative at a qualified testing laboratory.
    3. An employee who tests positive on a second screen or refuses a second screen will be terminated immediately.
    4. The President retains the discretion to determine the discipline to be applied. While rehabilitation services are always considered, the final decision on the type and level of discipline rests with the President.  

      An employee may be required to participate in follow-up care as part of a comprehensive drug and/or alcohol treatment program as a condition of continuing their employment with the college or as part of the disciplinary process. Depending on the nature of the conduct that led to the employee’s required participation in a drug treatment program, the employee may be required to submit to random drug screenings for a specified period of time and to meet performance and behavioral standards that are imposed as a condition of their continued employment.  Legal Reference:  49 CFR § 382.107, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations

Legal Reference:  49 CFR § 382.107, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations


Adopted: Policy has been in place prior to Sept. 2003
Revised: 8/21/13, 6/2015, 3/2019, 3/12/2021
Reviewed 1/2018

Theme: Overlay by Kaira
Salish Kootenai College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Salish Kootenai College | PO Box 70 | 58138 US Highway 93 | Pablo, MT 59855 | 406.275.4800.